Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.
Physical Activity Guidelines
Benefits of regular physical activity
- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week. Lift weights….start with 10 pound weights and graduate by adding 2-4 pounds as you see results.
CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of a experiencing a health problem during physical activity.
If you are regularly physically active, you may:
- reduce your risk of a heart attack
- manage your weight better
- have a lower blood cholesterol level
- lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- have lower blood pressure
- have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower the risk of osteoporosis
- lower your risk of falls
- recover better from period of hospitalisation or bed rest
- feel better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
A healthier state of mind
A number of studies have found that exercise helps depression. There are many views as to how exercise helps people with depression. Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract people from daily worries. Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact. Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve sleep patterns. Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones.
According the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States in recent years. As of 2010, more than one-third of American adults were considered obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Body mass is derived by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared, and then multiplying the result by 703 (weight (lb) / [height (in)] 2 x 703). You can calculate your body mass by following these three steps:
- Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
- Calculate your height in inches squared.
Divide the resulting number from step 1 by the resulting number in step 3.
Obesity can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer.
How Much Exercise Is Needed for Weight Loss?
To reap the health benefits of exercise, it is recommended that you to perform some form of aerobic exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes per session. However, more than 20 minutes is better if you want to actually lose weight. Incorporating just 15 minutes of moderate exercise — such as walking one mile — on a daily basis will burn up to 100 extra calories (assuming you don’t consume excess calories in your diet afterwards). Burning 700 calories a week can equals 10 lbs. of weight loss over the course of a year.
Benefits of Exercise and Diet
Combining exercise with a healthy diet is a more effective way to lose weight than depending on calorie restriction alone. Exercise can prevent or even reverse the effects of certain diseases. Exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, which may prevent a heart attack.
In addition, if you exercise, you lower your risk of developing certain types of cancers such as colon and breast cancer. Exercise is also known to help contribute to a sense of confidence and well-being, thus possibly lowering rates of anxiety and depression.
Exercise is helpful for weight loss and maintaining weight loss. Exercise can increase metabolism, or how many calories you burn in a day. It can also help you maintain and increase lean body mass, which also helps increase number of calories you burn each day.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- See everyday activities as a good opportunity to be active.
- Try to find the time for some regular, vigorous exercise for extra health and fitness benefits.
- Minimize the amount of time spent sitting .
- Even while sitting use 5-10 lb. dumb bells to work the stress out of your arms and shoulders and build muscle mass.
**Remember if you are building muscle mass you are destroying fat cells.
**Muscle weighs more than fat but muscle is toned and firm not flabby and saggy.
**Start slow and give your body time to adjust and add on a few minutes a week until you see some good results.
**Be patient with yourself and enjoy the fact that you are finally in control of your own body and shaping it to exactly the way you desire.